Art entered the door of the inn, an air of tension greeting him as he opened the door. He looked around and saw several patrons stare right back, looking at him and his weapon wrapped in cloth. They looked on edge, as if they expected a hostile to enter the door with guns blazing. Tired after a combination of a long red-eye journey and the fear of loss, Art ignored the stares, and walked right up to the reception.
“Hey, do you know where to find Franz’s room?” he asked the receptionist, handing a piece of paper. “He said he’d be in this room.”
The receptionist took a moment to look at the slip. “Up those stairs, end of the hall.”
Art nodded. “Alright, thanks.” he replies, walking up to the stairs.
He ascended the flight of stairs and proceeded to the end of the hall, as the receptionist indicated. He opened the door and a familiar smell hit him.
This is the place. It sure does smell familiar.
The room was tidy, only showing minor signs of use. There was a Art set his weapon down in a corner, then dropped himself on the bed, a single that had been neatly made. He closed his eyes and tried to go to sleep, but the headache he was having made it nearly impossible to do so.
He sat up on the bed, thinking for a moment.
What can I do…?
After a few moments, an idea hit him. He got up and sat on chair next to the desk in the room. He took out a pen and some pieces of paper and started writing.
I guess this might be the only chance I’m going to get.
Art spent the good part of an hour writing down his thoughts on two separate pieces of paper. After he was done, he folded the paper neatly, and put two separate names on the pair.
He left one on the table, and put another one in his travel bag. He felt a little better after having written, so he cleared the table and went to bed, able to fall asleep mere minutes after laying down.
A voice swirled in the void.
The voice was soft but stern. “You don’t have the resolve to do everything to save what’s precious to you.”
What do you mean? I want to save my mom!
“And you will fail. I have already seen it. You think that you’re using everything you have, but all you’ve been doing is playing with MY power.”
Playing? Who’s playing?
“I don’t expect you to understand. After all…” the voice trailed off.
“You are a mere shadow. A shadow of things not needed, a shadow of things that should not have existed in the first place.” the voice said in dismissive tone. “And all you’ve been doing is play around with the others, thinking you were like them. And now you’ve led the Scarlet Child right to the enemy.”
“But no more. I’ve had enough. All your gallivanting has only led to this moment, and you will fail in your task. But I won’t.”
Wait…what are you doing? The void started coalescing into a swirl, then exploded into thousands of images, enveloping everything.
“I’m taking my life back.”